Jan 7, 2008 SPOT News

Archived News:

Alaskan Remote Lone-Worker Saved by 9-1-1 Message From GPS Satellite Messenger

SPOT Satellite Messenger Sends Distress Message and GPS Location to Emergency Responders; First Documented Rescue

MILPITAS, Calif., (January 7, 2008) - Mike Brady, an outdoorsman working alone maintaining a seasonal lodge over winter, was rescued after using his SPOT™ Satellite Messenger to alert 9-1-1 of his predicament and location in a remote section of Alaska.  Brady collapsed in minus 30 degree temperatures while working in a remote outpost in the Wrangell St. Elias National Park, one of the largest and most isolated parks in the state.  This is the first documented rescue initiated by SPOT, coming only two months after the product’s initial release.

“SPOT saved my life,” said Brady.  “If my brother hadn’t given it to me before I left, I might not be here right now.”

Worried about his safety while working in isolation, Brady’s brother Terry Brady bought a SPOT Satellite Messenger for Mike who agreed to use the new device to send an “I’m OK” message twice a week. He had been doing so since November.  He had missed his second check this week when Terry received a call from GEOS International Emergency Call Center in Houston as the emergency contact for Mike Brady’s 9-1-1 SPOT messages.

Upon receipt of his signal and GPS coordinates, GEOS dispatchers notified the Alaska National Guard in Anchorage, which immediately dispatched a helicopter to his location, and safely delivered him to a hospital in Anchorage for care.

“A year ago, devices like this were either impractical or unaffordable. Thanks to SPOT, I was able to give a life-saving gift that helped keep my brother alive,” said Terry Brady.

“It is gratifying to know that SPOT played a role in a lifesaving rescue” said Dennis Allen, Senior Vice-President of Sales for SPOT Inc. “People need products like this more than they may realize. This device is equally applicable to those who drive, work or play beyond cell phone service. Additionally, when other cellular or landline phone service is interrupted for any reason, SPOT can continue to function.  We’re just happy to have sent the message that helped initiate his safe recovery.”

The National Association of Search and Rescue estimates that there are over 50,000 search and rescue missions launched each year in the United States. Most of these are initiated without knowledge of the victims’ location. While the popularity of GPS navigation systems and the increased coverage of wireless phone networks give some people a sense of security, anyone who routinely ventures into the wilderness knows how unreliable phone service can be in remote areas. The SPOT Satellite Messenger significantly raises the safety factor for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who take to the outdoors each year.